Beckett has been completely potty trained for about three months now, and this is a big deal in the life of a parent.
It’s actually been such a success that a couple new chapters in the parenting adventure have been opened as a result.
One is the newfound fascination Beckett has with toilets and how they work.
As a result of this odd obsession, any trip outside the house with my oldest son always involves a trip to the bathroom.
This is not a big deal typically, but it can be when we go out to eat as a family, particularly if he says he has to go early on in our meal. For instance, last Friday we were out and as soon as we sat down he showed signs of having to go. Once he starts grabbing himself, it’s quite obvious. Pam and I immediately wondered whether he really truly did have to go or if it was just an attempt to check out the facilities at the place.
He promised he did in fact have to go, so I took him. It turned out he was telling the truth, but on the way out he was quick to scope the bathroom out.
For Beckett, the most fascinating aspect of a bathroom is the urinal, and he is obsessed with how they work. Despite being way too short for most urinals, he tries each time to convince me to let him use one. I gave in once, holding him up in the air while he went, and that’s not something I plan to make a habit.
After the potty process and the subsequent hand washing was complete, we returned to the table to find our dinners.
After a few bites, Beckett claimed he had to go potty again, but this time it was of the other variety. He knew that would get our attention.
So off we went again, and this time it turns out he was “crying wolf,” as I call it, and he simply wanted to play with the toilets and stick his hands in places they shouldn’t be.
Another new aspect of the potty trained world involves Beckett paying early-morning visits to his parents’ room to announce he has to go potty. The visit typically takes place anywhere from 4 to 6 a.m.
Although he’s not exactly met with open arms at that early hour, we understand he can only hold it for so long, as he usually goes to sleep between 7 and 8 at night. It’s also better than an accident in his bed.
Unfortunately, most of the time, he does not fall back asleep after getting out of bed to use the bathroom. He becomes too stimulated and is not much for returning to his bed just because I point out to him it’s 5 in the morning.
One particular early-morning stroll into our room led me to jump out of bed quicker than usual. He came to my side of the bed, reporting his tummy hurt.
It was interesting how this played out at 4 in the morning. Leaving out the sordid details, it was an emergency situation for him and it took some time to complete the job at hand.
Throughout this half-hour project, Beckett had a number of rules in mind. First, I could not turn the light on in the bathroom because it would be too bright. Secondly, he wanted to see the moon and the stars, and third, he wanted to hear some stories, particularly one unknown to me about colors and shapes.
I agreed to keep the lights off and was able to point out the moon through one of the windows, but I wasn’t much for small talk at that hour and was still holding on to hope there was some more sleep in both our futures.
This was one of those reflective moments, as I sat on the bathroom floor in the dark while my son did his business.
Eventually, I did convince him to go back to sleep, thanks in large part to the elevated role Santa has come to play in our house.
Despite all this, the extra efforts are well worth not having to change diapers anymore, but with it comes different sorts of challenges.
There have been indications in previous months, but there’s no question any longer that Carson has taken over the role as the most challenging child in the house.
The big difference these days between our two kids, 3 ½ and 2 years old now, is Beckett will now sit still and keep himself occupied for a decent amount of time, while Carson needs to be watched every minute.
With Carson, the mantra of “expect the unexpected” rings true.
There have been several times of late when I will be observing Carson and find myself shocked at what he is doing and has done.
For instance, one morning he would not leave alone the grandfather clock, an heirloom from my wife’s family. He was stubbornly fixated on shaking it with both hands and out of desperation I rearranged the furniture in the room to keep him away from it.
Figuring it was safely barricaded behind three chairs, I walked away, only to find Carson walking back into the room with a truck.
I thought my plan had worked and he was now distracted by something else. That was a bad assumption, as I watched him pick up the truck, put it over his head and try to hurl it over the furniture toward the grandfather’s clock. Of course, it came nowhere near it, as I knew it would, but I was shocked at his determination, and maybe even a little proud.
A similar scene played out the other morning when he tossed aside his entire breakfast, despite my assurances there would be no other meals if he did it.
He laughed hysterically and tossed it aside. He laughed even harder when I let the dogs eat his breakfast off the floor.